Research Program and Interests
The surface of the Earth is shaped by a complex combination of tectonics and erosion. My research focuses on evaluating temporal and spatial patterns of strain, with the ultimate goal of understanding the mechanisms and drivers of deformation and landscape evolution. I do this by integrating fieldwork and structural analysis methods with geo- and thermochronology. Thermochronologic datasets in particular are important, because the ages are linked to specific temperatures. Integrated with other geologic data, thermochronologic methods provide quantitative constraints on a wide range of tectonic and geomorphic processes (e.g., timing, magnitude, and rate of faulting; geothermal gradients; degree of tilting or rotation of crustal blocks; erosion magnitudes and rates). My current research focuses on the Great Basin in Nevada and California, offshore basins in southern and eastern China (e.g., Pearl River Mouth, East China Shelf, and Bohai Bay basins), and the U.S. midcontinent in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. In doing this work, I have a strong commitment to mentoring the next generation of scientists, involving undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. My research approach also draws on my prior industry experience as an Exploration Geologist for ExxonMobil.